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Cherokee County Building Inspections – Not for the faint of heart.

Y’all. Oh my gracious. The barn build on The Young Family Farm continues…but we live in Cherokee County (not to be confused with North Carolina or Texas’ Cherokee County)…Georgia–y’all where it’s no joke to deal with the county’s building department. I want a place to do all the projects–to store all the things–to have a little get away from the crazy in the crazy. But if you really want crazy–move to Cherokee County Georgia and try to build a shed or barn folks. I’m wondering at this point if I can even build a dog house without getting Congress involved;) So welcome to the fun of a small build in Cherokee County where even a unknowing construction guy with a cigarette on a roof can slow down all the things and the inspectors throw flags faster than refs in the last 5 seconds of SEC championship.

I submitted the basically basic form that was holding up all the things (checked the residential box and not commercial because er’body just wants dibs of the money if you were to be making it…which we just like to pour out instead here;). But just in case they need more, I included this letter of intent for all the details;) After all–a week delay putting hard working guys out of work twiddling their thumbs waiting for approval leaves you with lots of extra words right? I don’t cuss or smoke so writing will have to suffice here folks…getting crazy up in here;)

December 28, 2018

Building permit people and all the flag holders–please and thank you.

Fire Marshall at Cherokee County, Inspectors and the Inspectors of the Inspectors

1130 Bluffs Pkwy, Canton, GA 30144

Dear All the People:

The inspector asked us to write a letter of intent for what our barn will be used for after one of the construction roofer men on roof nailing things guessed what we could use the barn for. The man with a cigarette guessed it would be used for weddings which sent the inspector into a complete lock down waving all the flags. Our garage was turned into a living room by the former owner so we have no where to store my tools or even myself when I need to be stored away. With 6 children and my obsession with HGTV, it gets very dusty in our basement when I do crafts (table saws create a snowstorm of dust mind you). When I want to just sit in quiet with my friends–we are getting very wet in the pasture with no cover. I plan to use our new barn/garage for storing crafts, storing things like weed eater and other landscaping, bikes for our 6 kids, and some times myself and my mom friends.

We will not be having events, running an event facility or starting a business or anything like that. I mean–6 kids people–that’s about all the event I can handle. With 6 kids even breakfast at our house feels like an event. I personally will use the barn to some times hide from my children and to get a breath of fresh air before coming back across the pasture to be a mom to many ranging from 2 to 14–which means once I walk back in our door I do everything from potty training to reminding even 14 year olds to flush the toilet. I think there was some question about why I have a bathroom both inside the barn and outside the barn if this isn’t going to be used for weddings. To be honest some times I wish I had it together enough to host quiet events with Canon in D by Pachelbel magically playing for potty trained and clean people. However, the indoor bathroom…for the love–is MINE. All mine. The outdoor toilet–it’s for the muddy children who don’t know how to wipe and will leave me guessing…is that mud? That outside toilet isn’t for wedding guests–no sir. It will be for the stinky, sweaty boys who need to work it out on their new half basketball court for our boys–because I have 4. Maybe they will let the girls play–but I can assure you the girls won’t be using that outside toilet too.

The main intent of the barn sir–is MY sanity but I do hope to share it at some point with my children. While it won’t be used for weddings–I do hope my children one day to get married and fly the coop—and maybe even right here–who knows but right now I’m just hoping they all can one day do their own laundry and love each other. And should they want to move in our basement or the barn for long term stay I might need to write more than just a letter of intent;). In that case I’ll be selling the farm and moving to Florida-I might even need a drag of that guy’s cigarette on the way. 

Respectfully but very tired,

Andrea Young

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Wiphan Schools in Zambia & Farm Prints to THANK YOU!

We have been a part of Wiphan Care since it’s first days–and it’s been a wild ride watching it grow from one school with 250 kids to 3 schools with almost 950 orphans and 150 widows. 2 of the 3 schools has fencing to protect the school and students as they learn and grow–but we still need a fence around our 3rd school. Check out this video about this goal we have for THIS week!

Wiphan / Fund-the-Fence Farm Prints from Wiphan Care Ministries on Vimeo.

We are so thankful that our friends and family have given so generously already. We created farm prints to THANK YOU as you give! We hope you enjoy them and bless others as you have also blessed the kids at Wiphan! Here’s your link friends for your prints and donor gift cards! PRINTS AND DONOR GIFT CARDS LINK

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4 Things I Pray You Will Be {a 13 year old’s blessing}

We do this thing here when a child turns 13–the rite of passage into a new phase of maturity–where those who love and who have invested thus far write letters to champion the new teen into this next phase of life.

Last year for Parker’s 13th we had many write letters which were presented in an album to him at a special round table filled with men mentors who have been there for him through the years. This week my best friend’s son turned 13–and today he will receive the many letters others wrote to him including ours.

These are 4 things I pray for him in the next phase of life. May we raise kids who will BE THAT FRIEND to another…

Dear one your 13th Birthday…

First may I take a minute to boast that I’ve known about you just about as long as anyone. Bring your mom’s best friend for so many years—I have gotten the inside scoop on your life since the beginning. Which mind you—has also given me the privilege to fiercely love and pray over you since the beginning. I met you for the first time in Northside Hospital 13 years ago—and from that day since I haven’t missed a birthday and I’ve been on the receiving end of the best stories as your mom has proudly shared them. I consider myself blessed to know you your whole life, and I’m proud of the man of God you are. 

As I pray about what to bless over you on this special birthday that christens you into the teenage manhood years—I want to challenge you with the word FRIENDSHIP. 

I feel like challenging with this word is most fitting because it is the friendship with your mom through decades that brings us here today. I want to challenge you what to look for in a friend—BUT MOST OF ALL WHAT TO BE IN A FRIEND.

There are 4 things I pray you can BE and have one friend (just one Godly, God-fearing, God-finding and man after God’s own heart you need in your life—so never be deceived that popularity with friends and favor with God is the same. Seek to please Him alone dear one.) I am praying you can BECOME AND BE these 4 things to a faithful friend that will stand the same test of time your mom has to me…

1. May you be the steadfast friend. Steadfast can be described as “stick-with-it-ness” and loyal. In your teenage and adult years, may you be the man others find loyal. May others know because of your character where to find you—the first man to stand up when something is right and the last man standing when there is still need. May you be the friend that shows up and can be counted on. May you be the word keeper—the one who keeps his promises even when it’s hard.

2. May you be the kind friend. Kindness is easy when others are kind first or in return. But—may you also be the man who is kind in the face of unkindness. May you be slow to speak, slow to talk (react), and slow to become angry. May your words be seasoned with salt—fresh air and hope to a hurting world. May you be the lifter of hearts pointing to Jesus—and May you listen and hear and speak words of truth as the Holy Spirit places them on your heart. You have always been the kind one—don’t stop. In your steadfastness—keep being the kind one.

3. May you be the wise friend. I pray when you are uncertain which way to go, you are humble enough to wait and seek godly counsel. With your wisdom—stay humble as others see your wisdom. Recognize pride quickly and confess it just as quickly. Take a minute in every moment to ask your Savior is this the way you want me to go—in everything. He is faithful and will always show you. Be brave when everyone goes one way, and God shows you a more narrow path. The wisest decisions will be the “yes” moments where He asks you to trust Him in a different way than everyone else. Remember you will not be alone because He will go before you, with you and behind you.

4. May you be the fun friend. I know this one has you either smiling or surprised to end on this one as the others were quite serious. But never be too serious to lose site of the glorious adventure of the life God has given you. Don’t ever let the world tell you the fun friend is the friend who does the wrong thing, gets in trouble or displeases God. No. Your mom and I have had a lot of fun in life while being steadfast, kind and wise. Following Jesus can be radical, indescribable and silly FUN. So look for the adventure and hold up your hands for an unbelievable ride as you follow Him. Be the friend who says yes to good, clean fun even when you are an old man. Take the trip. Stay up late to see the miracle (like those sand turtles!) and celebrate the touchdown in life. 

You, dear one, have been such a good friend to my son. There are many things I see in you both as you both are true to conviction. I am so proud of the man you are becoming—and through your teenage years I will continue to pray for you. It is my prayer that you will have a friend who stands the test of time like I have in your mother. Be that kind of friend to someone else—and pray for the ones who are not. Never fret or worry when there are unkind friends each year because the world has many of those people—just stand true and tall in your steadfastness, kindness, wisdom and joyful fun with your eyes always up to the One who loves you most. Our family is here for you all your days—and if you ever need anything we are always here. We love you and wish you the best birthday as you begin a new stage of life! 

Love,

Mrs. Andrea

(Mr. Richard, Parker, Laney, Frank, Isaac, Zeke and Janie Claire)

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Shipping the white out and inviting color in

I jumped on the bandwagon 5 years ago when we moved to the farm and went with neutrals, tons of white and a little bit more–WHITE. The only problem is…y’all this is so not me.

It may have felt crisp and clean–but I loved all the white furniture to the basement and decided blue velvet and a crazy yellow chair could replace it. I found fabulous Monet-like BRIGHT fabric and I grabbed a canvas to paint to tie all the color in. During nap time instead of snoozing–I pulled out my serger and sewing machines…and whipped these out for lots of pops of color that just sing happy all day long.

This acrylic on canvas I painted in the Spring is named “It Is Well”. The storms may come–but my Keeper provides so it is well with my soul. I love seeing these flowers and new life by this painting.

Find this fabric here…

Swavelle Mill Creek Glenburn Peony

I love having design that uplifts your heart. I couldn’t help but pull out my letterboard today to remind myself to always be expectant and ready for the good that is ahead…

Good things are coming. Be ready. So now you know why I keep a tambourine in my van. I actually keep it in the pocket of my door so when I come it I hear it ding😂. It’s like a reminder with each stop and errand that good things are coming!

Have a sweet week…filled with lots of color, joy and expectations for what’s ahead!

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A New School Year! Goal Setting as a family…

I’ve been brainstorming all the ways I can get organized as we get ourselves back in gear for another school year–and it dawned on me that I haven’t really been the best at helping my kids set goals. I encourage them to do well in school, try their best and be kind to everyone–but the older I get the more I realize kids really need us to come come along side them and GUIDE them in HOW to do all the things we too often gloss over with sweet words of quick encouragement.

One way I want to do that this year and in the years ahead is to be very intentional with the kids with helping them set and achieve their goals. I was blown away as I did research on different goal setting methods to learn that only 3% of American write down their goals YET a Harvard study revealed that you are 50% MORE likely to achieve your goal when you write them down. The study also showed you have greater odds of meeting goals when you share them with a close friend or family member. I was all like–HELLO?! Why in the WORLD have I not been doing this INDIVIDUALLY with my children?!

I scoured the internet for something SIMPLE–because simple is actually a big part of meeting goals in the SMART method (Specific, Measureable, Achieveable, Realistic, Time-based). I needed something simple that my littles and my bigs could both do (keeping it simple for momma too so I actually do this over and over again:). Each child will have their goals on a clip board and to keep them time-based each period is just 3 months long. We can re-evaluate and tweak where goals weren’t met and challenge in new ways where they were at the end of each period. If you set goals too far out you just forget about them–hence my New Year’s resolutions NEVER happening!

If this old mom can figure out how to attach all of these–I’m leaving these here for YOU to print off for FREE!! Just print put your child’s name on it and you are SET!

First I created a cover sheet where I can write each of my children’s names–and I made one for “mom” and “dad” too. I think it will be fun for us to do with them–and it will be good for us to set goals WITH them. I included on the cover page what the SMART goal setting method stands for so parents can walk through that at the beginning of their goal setting time…

We are going to focus on 6 different areas of our lives to set goals in–and to keep it really simple instead of created a page for each area–I put 3 areas of each page. Then I created an idea page to get us started when we need help thinking of “actions” to put in place to help us reach our goals.

I wrote the months at the top to REMIND them these goals are just for the next 3 months! They *CAN* do this!!! Also this reminds them to think of things they can do RIGHT now because they only have 3 months to think about.

I’m really excited about this 2nd page setting family goals together–and even helping my kids process and think about what emotional/behavioral goals are. We need to BRAINSTORM the HOW part of achieving this goal. I have some who get frustrated with siblings–so we can think about ways to respond but HOW we will keep our cool and respond with kindness and love. This could be for tempers for teens and also used for things like getting rid of binky for a toddler;). However–we are NOT ready to say goodbye to baby’s binky YET!

I created this page for each child to keep as they brainstorm steps of action points as they work on this each time…

I found a few other great resources I’ll come back and add too later. I think one of my kids would benefit from a daily check off for his things and another I found a cool “read through the Bible” plan that is perfect for teen in their spiritual goals if they need accountability or motivation in being in the Word daily. I’ll grab those and link them here later also!

Alright–now friends this old momma who has been away from blogging for a bit is going to try my best to attach these for you below to print off and use!!! May you each have a sweet year ahead–and I hope this blesses those of you who join me in goal setting with your sweet families!!

Blessings!

Andrea

FREE FAMILY GOAL SETTING PRINTABLE: GOALSETTING

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